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How to Help a Sensitive Child in Grade School

By Kay Ireland ; Updated June 13, 2017

A highly sensitive child may find that the children, teachers and situations that come along with grade school make her feel upset, uncomfortable and even sad. The harsh criticisms of a well-meaning educator, paired with the taunts of teasing children, may have your sensitive child feeling like grade school is an upsetting and unfair place. Fortify and empower your sensitive child by pointing out her strengths, explaining why certain people have certain reactions and offering unconditional love to give her more confidence at school.

  1. Avoid forcing your sensitive child into situations that make him feel uncomfortable or associating with those that make him feel upset. While you likely mean well and hope to conditioner him against these situations, they can cause him to withdraw further, notes If you want your child to be less sensitive at school, pushing your child is going about it the wrong way. Instead, gently nurture and introduce him to coping tactics that will help him to manage his sensitivity at school.

  2. Focus on your child's strengths, instead of constantly pointing out the drawbacks of her sensitivity. Think of the joy and care that her sensitivity brings to her family, and let her know on a daily basis that you appreciate that she is sensitive to the feelings and needs of others. Help her to see some of her other talents, like being a good friend and good in science class. Bolstering her self-confidence can empower her when she heads to school in the morning.

  3. Make an appointment to talk to your child's teacher in private. Talk about your child, some of his triggers concerning his sensitivity and what she can do to help him when he becomes distraught. This can help put your child's teacher on alert so that she knows what to watch for to make grade school a better experience for your child.

  4. Explain to your child why she may feel sensitive and why some things trigger her to feel sad or upset. Talk about grades and testing and how they help to measure her progress. Let her know that her teacher is trying to help. Explain that other children may taunt and tease because they are unhappy or sad themselves, and teach her about understanding. Explaining the reasons for each episode of high sensitivity can help your child manage her reactions to different situations.

  5. Practice coping mechanisms with your child to help him manage his reactions to sensitive situations, says "Families" online magazine. You might talk about deep breathing exercises or talking to a teacher or guidance counselor. Let him know that although many things can happen at school, he can control the way he reacts to them to make them good or bad, and tell him that you are always there if he wants to talk about experiences at school.

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